Friendship is considered one of the most precious treasures for people. The opportunity to share such treasure with neighbors means counting with someone at moments of emergency, happiness, and celebrations at just a few steps from home. However, there might be moments when a friendship goes wrong due to misunderstandings or legal terms which is worst.
The architect Basia Lejonvarn was sued by her friend Lynn and Peter Burgess for the amount of £265,000 when this one offered her help to work on a landscaping makeover for the couple´s house. What it started as a simple advice from a friend with the good intentions to help her neighbors to renovate their landscape ended up in a legal battle and, of course, a 10-year-old friendship.
At first instance, the architect volunteered herself to help her neighbors to change their garden in Highgate. Everything started as a free advice from Lejonvar who declared the advice was totally “free” for them bringing misunderstandings to the couple since the Burgess blamed her for using defected material and high cost over other six figures.
The case was taken to the court where they concluded that Lejonvarn would pay the affected couple the total cost of the legal duty of care since she was only accredited as a professional US architect without the necessary accreditations for a UK professional architect what made her incompetence to keep with the project.
Basia´s lawyer explained that the architect was free of any charge since she only offered a free advice to friends as a matter of helping her neighbors at the first moment. This was agreed with by Chester solicitors and many others nationwide.
The judge in charge of the case, Martin Bowdery explained that the couple Burgess´ argument where they stayed that the architect managed the project in a very negligent way was lacking information, conviction, and credibility. In this order, Bowdery judge declared Basia Lejonvarn under the charge of incompetence leaving the Burgess with no payback of the £265,000 they expected to obtain from it since there was not an official or legal contract among them.
The misunderstanding began in 2013 when the Burgess wanted to change their garden. First, the couple receives a quote with an approximate amount of £150,000 from a local gardener company which makeover would include elements such as terraces, lawns, paths and mood-lit flower beds.
Since the quote was considered a high-cost investment, the architecture offered the services of Polish contractors that would make the same job at a low cost. Consequently, the project was assigned to the first gardener option the couple targeted after a series of offensive emails with Ms. Lejonvarn.
Mr. and Ms. Burguess claimed the total cost of the makeover was for £265,000, the double they wanted to spend. Due to the series of emails they received from Lejonvarn, the couple saw a relationship between the money and her, giving as a result, the decision of suing Ms. Lejonvarn for the extra money.
The situation may act as a lesson for professionals that might give free advices to friends to think twice before giving an opinion or extend some help to friends. It is better to clarify first their intentions of helping in any situation before misunderstandings like Lejonvars vs Burgess would happen again ending up with a broken friendship.